Saturday, 24 August 2013

Boldly going

In my restless quest for knowledge, I boldly decided to hoist the trap on to our flat roof last night, a nerve-wracking experience for anyone in their sixties. 'Be careful on ladders' is one of the essential rules of life by the time you get to our age. 'Make sure that you are attached at three points' is another. My long experience of building tree houses means that I am hard-wired to respect the latter, but it's easier said than done when you are climbing with the various components of a trap on your person. Inspecting the moths this morning was equally bracing. To have carried down the trap would have disturbed them, so the camera and I perched on the uppermost rungs to take pictures. Altogether, I felt like one of the angels on the facade of Bath Abbey which I got to know well during my three-and-a-half idyllic years on the Bath Evening Chronicle, learning my trade.

Anyway, pausing only to show you a picture of the said facade courtesy of the excellent Piccalilli Pie blog, here are some of the moths which fly that much higher than the usual, sea-level position of the trap. The first is an interesting one which I got in my later years in Leeds but had not yet seen here: a Dark Sword-grass, a powerfully-flying immigrant species which features in large numbers at the traps which dot the coast like wartime radar stations, whose lists of incomers are very well-recorded on the Atropos website.  Just to keep up my supply of interesting if marginally relevant pictures, here before the moths, is one from Wikipedia of a coastal 'listening ear' which looked out for enemy aeroplanes rather than immigrant moths.

And now the rooftop moths which also included four Poplar Hawks, a handsome Angle Shades, several Spectacles and lots and lots of Flame Shoulders, Setaceous Hebrew Characters and other familiar species, well over 250 in all. Once again, we have a nice (human) guest coming to stay, so IDs will be completed later (or sooner, should any of my beloved experts be passing this way, hem hem). Update: and behold their unfailing helpfulness in the amended captions. Many thanks as always.

The Dark Sword-grass

A very handsome and typically lively Copper (or Svensson's Copper) Underwing's the one on the right I need to nail. And Dave in Comments
 obliges as always: a Ringed China-mark micro - new here

Feathered Gothic, very stylish moth

I think that this is a rather worn Flame Carpet

Mmm... once more. Always dodgy to photograph when they perch in the bowl
 It's a worn Willow Beauty - many thanks to Dave again

Brown China-mark micro

That makes it three Mmm...s But thanks to GF, we now know that it's a Yellow Straw


Countryside Tales said...

Now that's just showing off.

Love the feathered Gothic. No moths here for over a week due to being away on hols, but will be back with a vengeance as of Monday!


welcome from the north york moors.not sure on the first one but try Mother of pearl and Yellow shell for the other two.Heather in full bloom,smells amazing.
cheers G.F.

David Shenton said...


Looks like the elevated position worked well.

The cross lines on the first look reminiscent of a worn Willow Beauty, the moth alongside the SHC is for me a female Ringed China-mark.


MartinWainwright said...

Thanks so much everyone. I don't think I'll risk this again for a while, but I've long wondered about hoisting the trap into a tree. Just a matter of designing the cradle because bulbs aren't cheap. The weather has turned dull, wet and cooler, bah! All warm wishes, M

MartinWainwright said...

PS - thanks for reminding me of the heather and the moors GF I remember those great wafts of honey scent along the Lyke Wake Walk. Happy times! M